I’ve spent the last few weeks on the road. I have snacked on homemade caramel cookies at a Café event sponsored by the women of Our Savior’s Church in Rockford, Ill. Then I sampled a scrumptious apple turnover at an ELCA camp in Clintonville, Wis., during a retreat for the women of the Eastern Central Wisconsin Synodical Women’s Organization. Last week, I ate a pound of amazing oatmeal chocolate chip cookies at the women of Eastern Washington-Idaho SWO convention in Lewiston, Idaho.
Despite my insatiable sweet tooth—I didn’t do all that travel just so I could eat cookies. I have learned that in addition to the amazing, and I mean, amazing collection of baked goods—we can experience much more at a Women of the ELCA convention.
I have heard from younger women that they do not like to attend conventions, and I have heard from devoted convention-goers about how concerned they are about low attendance. It’s natural to base our success on quantifiable things, especially when it comes to meeting a budget. But the woman who says that she is not interested in the “business” of a convention might be overlooking some other incredible things about attending WELCA events—the women she will meet.
I’ve met women who are raising their grandchildren, who have had a host of medical emergencies or have lost their loved ones, and yet they are still organizing the assembly of LWR school kits in their spare time. In addition to regular church service, these women are collecting items for women’s shelters in their communities, inviting representatives of these shelters to come and share their stories. And convention-goers, most on fixed incomes, give generously to support local and national programs that benefit women and girls.
To the women who say they want to be involved in social justice, but not active in their Women of the ELCA unit: You can learn a lot from these bold volunteers.
If you are looking to find the nearest group of amazing Lutheran women, Google WELCA, and add your zip code. You can also learn more about Women of the ELCA from our website.
Back in 2014, Elizabeth McBride was making the convention rounds by teaching women about the importance of communication and how they can include more women in their group by extending authentic invitations in person, online, and using social media. When we’re back to normal, invite her to visit your convention. She needs gluten-free cookies these days. This Throwback Thursday blog first ran on Oct. 6, 2014.